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Have expensive heatsinks had their day?

Posted on 29th Jun 2012 at 09:09 by Antony Leather with 55 comments

Antony Leather
In the last couple of years, water-cooling has made some serious leaps in usability and value. Sadly we’re not referring to custom water-cooling kits here, although the number of off-the-shelf components that are available now if you’re building your own system is staggering. No, we’re talking about all-in-one liquid coolers such as Antec’s Kühler H2O 920 and Corsair’s H80.

Even just a few years ago, all-in-one liquid coolers invariably performed worse than decent air coolers. In some cases they were a lot worse and represented very poor value for money and were little more than a quick and easy way of being able to claim your PC was water-cooled. Internal units in particular used lowly pumps and radiators that were skinnier than an anorexic beanpole.

Cool IT led the way with its Eco and Domino coolers, along with Asetek, whose efforts were also sold by Corsair in the form of the H50 and H70. All of a sudden, we had affordable units that could be fitted in most cases with rear or roof 120mm fan mounts close to the CPU socket. More importantly, they offered cooling as good, if not better than the preferred air coolers of the time.

Have expensive heatsinks had their day? *Are the days of large air coolers numbered?
All-in-one liquid coolers such as Corsair's H100 (pictured) and the cheaper H80, don't cost much more than large heatsinks

The latest generation have made even bigger waves. They are now the coolers of choice in mid and high-end PCs – something we’ve never seen before. Not only this but they’re easy to install, have no issues fitting in a vast majority of standard-layout tower cases and out-perform anything that air cooling can throw at them. Corsair’s H100 especially is very quiet too yet despite being the most expensive all-in-one liquid cooler around at the moment. It costs half the price of all the gear you’d need to make a similar custom water-cooling kit.

With air coolers such as Be Quiet’s Dark Rock Pro and Prolimatech’s Genesis costing upwards of £55, we’re finally able to ask a very interesting question. If you’re spending more than £40 on a CPU cooler, is air cooling even worth a look? This question is particularly important when you consider that many cheaper air coolers, in particular Arctic’s Freezer i30, perform as well as these monstrosities. Smaller coolers and all-in-one liquid coolers are invariably far easier to fit too, so why on earth would you spend more on a large heatsink?

Have expensive heatsinks had their day? *Are the days of large air coolers numbered?
Click to enlarge - Large heatsinks such as Be Quiet's Dark Rock Pro offer great cooling and low noise but they're as expensive as all-in-one liquid coolers that are often just as quiet and offer even better cooling

There are a couple of reasons, but we’d be interested to hear your opinions too. Firstly, there’s noise. Smaller air coolers are invariably nosier due to the fact they need more airflow to deal with the same amount of heat. As they’re so large, air coolers such as the Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro can afford to use 120mm or even 140mm slow spinning fans but still offer excellent cooling. The Dark Rock Pro is able to match the likes of the Corsair H100 and H80 at similar noise levels in some of our tests, meaning that if your primary objective is noise reduction, it isn’t a totally unattractive options as it’s still noticeably cheaper than the better all-in-one’s.

Secondly, there are cases where the fan mounts are simply too far away from the CPU socket for the tubing to allow you mount the radiator. In this situation, you can either mod the cooler (extending the tubing is actually a fairly popular mod) or of course opt for a decent air cooler if you don’t want to splash the cash on a custom water-cooling kit.

Have expensive heatsinks had their day? *Are the days of large air coolers numbered?
Click to enlarge - The Freezer i30 strikes a good balance between size, cooling and price

However, for the overclocking enthusiast, all-in-one liquid coolers have an additional trick up their sleeve. Corsair’s H80 and H100 have three fan speed settings, while Antec’s Kühler H2O 920 goes one step further and offers fully-programmable software to fine-tune its fans. For owners of the Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro, you’re stuck with silent mode and nothing short of swapping the fans will give you better cooling should you want to an afternoon of overclocking and benchmarking.

In any event, some of us are less phased by the din of noisy fans and would be quite happy to set the H80, for example, to its medium or full speed fan settings. While we haven’t got round to testing some of Corsair’s cheaper all-in-one offerings, even if they’re within 10-20 per cent of the more expensive models cooling-wise, they’d still make tempting alternatives to equivalently-priced air coolers.

Have expensive heatsinks had their day? *Are the days of large air coolers numbered?
Click to enlarge - Antec's Kühler H2O 920 offers software fan speed control as well as awesome cooling for just £70

It’s a tricky one to call, although for the time being, in the sub £40 bracket, its difficult to see anything providing the humble heatsink with much competition for now. We thought SSDs would kill hard disks a long time ago, but their prices prevented this war from kicking off until recently when we finally saw decent 512GB SSDs retail for less than £300. With large air coolers, there will always be people who prefer air cooling too.

However, if and when the likes of Corsair and Antec release their next generation all-in-one coolers, if they’re cheaper or better than their predecessors, I’d be very worried if I was in the air cooling market.

Do you think the days of large air coolers are numbered? Let us know in the comments...

55 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
ev1lm1nd666 29th June 2012, 10:06 Quote
I've been having this thought for a few months now as I've been planning my new build. I'm normally the (cheap) kind of guy who goes for the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2, but water cooling, I think, has been calling me to give it a try. With these all in one water coolers coming as low as £40 I'm seriously tempted by them as my pc is in the living room plugged into my TV as an (Gasp) HTPC so noise is obviously a factor. Another thing I have against the high end expensive air coolers is that stock coolers are getting better and better all the time now. I'm using the stock cooler on my AMD FX 4100 which is OC'd to 4.6Ghz and the highest temps I've seen after stress testing over night at 100% load are a Delta T of 35-41°C.....
Dave Lister 29th June 2012, 10:24 Quote
I've been thinking of getting a corsair h100 for a while now so I can overclock my cpu. The trouble with my case (cm cosmos s) is I cant use a decent air cooler. I used to run a custom loop on my computer but lost a motherboard due to a leak and also damaged part of the case's plastic trim trying to empty the system. So an all in one would suit me perfectly.
atlas 29th June 2012, 10:58 Quote
I dunno looked into this recently when I did my upgrade and still ended up with a Thermalright silver arrow SB-E although the corsair H80 and H100 were close options the silver arrow still had better cooling (has nice quiet fans) and doesn't have any water running through it to worry about :)
Almightyrastus 29th June 2012, 11:08 Quote
I have to say that I have been tempted by something like the H100 for a while especially as I am thinking of expanding my RAM. Some of the slots are obscured by the large air cooler I have on there at the moment. It would be nice to have a 360 radiator version as that is what my ATCS 840 has fittings for.
ya93sin 29th June 2012, 11:15 Quote
I bought the Noctua NH-D14 a year ago, it was my first ever custom cooler that I had purchased.
And what more could I ask for? Temperatures stay at extremely low delta even with a moderate 4.4GHz OC on an i5-2500K, and the most impressive part is that it does it with a whisper.
With a fan controller as well, the noise levels are very low.
MiNiMaL_FuSS 29th June 2012, 11:22 Quote
I found my mega-halem with a few mods (high pressure and lapping) is both quieter and better at cooling than any of the all-in-one liquid coolers...and I've tried everything up-to and including the H-80 and the 920.

Why would I switch from the one heat-sink I've had for years, that so far fits every system and beat every other cooler....and cost £15.00 second hand!
rpsgc 29th June 2012, 12:00 Quote
You can praise all-in-one watercooling units all you want, but please, do not, ever, say they're quiet.

Because they're not. Unless your hearing is as bad as a half-deaf 80 year old man.


"Oh but they can be made quiet" you say? Yes, of course. You can lower the pump's voltage and use lower RPM fans, and they'll be quiet-ish. But they'll also have a piss-poor performance worse than any decent air cooler.


So, no, 'expensive' heatsinks have not had their day. And when they do get pushed aside, trust me, it won't be because of AIO watercooling units.
longweight 29th June 2012, 12:02 Quote
It's all about case design really, my FT02 has all of the case fans running through a fan controller which is set to minimum and you cannot hear them or the Dark Rock Pro even underload.

The GPU however does make a noticeable noise.
Harlequin 29th June 2012, 12:08 Quote
currently rocking a passive coolermaster hyper z600 ;)
longweight 29th June 2012, 12:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
currently rocking a passive coolermaster hyper z600 ;)

What CPU and temperatures?
Harlequin 29th June 2012, 12:11 Quote
phenom 2 x6 1090T @ 3.6ghz and temps? dont know and as long as it works then tbh not bothered
GeorgeStorm 29th June 2012, 12:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpsgc
You can praise all-in-one watercooling units all you want, but please, do not, ever, say they're quiet.
Because they're not. Unless your hearing is as bad as a half-deaf 80 year old man.
"Oh but they can be made quiet" you say? Yes, of course. You can lower the pump's voltage and use lower RPM fans, and they'll be quiet-ish. But they'll also have a piss-poor performance worse than any decent air cooler.
So, no, 'expensive' heatsinks have not had their day. And when they do get pushed aside, trust me, it won't be because of AIO watercooling units.

I've never had an issue with the pump noise on the few units I've tried, and using different fans on a cooler is far from unheard of. Performance wise, they've always been good for me over a variety of chips.
I think they're very good, they allow better performance in smaller cases a lot of the time (I used a H70 in a PC-Q08)
jrs77 29th June 2012, 12:17 Quote
I have a Corsair H50 and a H60. Both of them are utter rubbish imho and do not work as intended. The pumps are awfully noisy and the temperatures don't really are better then a $50 aircooler.
Additionally, the mounting of the both mentioned products are total rubbish. I had to throw away the H60 because the cooler doesn't attach correctly to the CPU and has a gap of around 1mm even if the screws are tightened to max. The H50 was a PITA to install and seeing that the Antec Kühler uses this mounting-system too I wouldn't ever recommend any of the current factory-sealed all-in-one water-coolers.

With CPUs getting more efficient - Ivy Bridge i5-3570k only has 77W TDP whereas the i5-760 had 95W TDP - it's a waste of money and efforts to go for watercooling imho. My Samuel 17 + Apache Black has no issues cooling my i5-760 silently at stockspeeds, even when I run Prime95 for half an hour, and I mind you that the Samuel 17 is a rather small topblower. With a 120mm tower-cooler there would even be less issues.
I'm upgrading to the 1156 Ivy Bridge soon, and then my Apache Black won't even spin up beyond 600RPM when surfin the net I guess, because the TDP of the Ivy Bridge i5-CPUs is only around 65W when you disable the IGP.

Expensive heatsinks have had their day because the new intel CPUs have such low TDP that you can passively cool them with a 120mm tower-cooler under load with good airflow in the case.

Cooling is only an issue with current GPUs, but if the rumors about the GTX660 stay true, then we'll see a GPU with only 100W TDP within range of the performance of a 7850.

Soon a medium-priced gaming-rig (Ivy Bridge I5 + GTX660 or the like) will draw less then 200 Watts under load. Cooling these systems will be totally easy with aircoolers and noise will no more be an issue aswell.
flong 29th June 2012, 12:33 Quote
Might have been a good question with Sandy Bridge or if you are not going to overclock. However Ivy Bridge runs extremely hot.

Also, If your spending $1500 - $2000 USA (more in the UK because of the VAT tax) do you really want to expose your expensive components to high heat? Isn't it worth the extra $50 - $70 to provide "insurance" to keep your components extra cool?

That was my reasoning for buying the Noctua NH-D14 for my 2600K rig even though I do not need to overclock. No component in my computer gets above 35F except the sound card which runs at 59F. Everything is icy cool and that was worth the extra $50 for me. I couldn't be happier with my D-14
digitaldunc 29th June 2012, 12:40 Quote
Not had their day -- marginalized maybe, but not finished.

There will always be situations where WC isn't practical or impossible -- case size restraints are one issue. Additionally, a lot of users aren't all that fond of the idea of WC, although this may be mitigated somewhat with sealed low maintenance kits.
whatsthatnoise 29th June 2012, 13:06 Quote
I believe it's not all about performance, only. Sure a high end air cooler performs better than one of these closed loop water solutions. Maybe even the all so popular CoolerMaster 212 and it's derivates performes better, for way less money.

However, the main reasons why I love my H70 is ease of use (when swapping systems), low noise and most off all: a clean and nice appearance. Most air coolers are either plain ugly or take up way to much space. I don't like to watch at a big brick in my system...

Of course custom watercooling is better in all aspects, visual and performance wise. But it costs a fortune compared to something like an H70. I got it for 35€, a 2 year used one. It is still silent and fully functional and got 3 years warranty left. Even at full price it's simply good value if you do not only look at benchmark performance. ;-)
FaSMaN 29th June 2012, 13:11 Quote
The next generation of air cooling is coming out soon...


The Sandia Cooler: http://www.legitreviews.com/news/13508/
Spreadie 29th June 2012, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaldunc
Not had their day -- marginalized maybe, but not finished.

There will always be situations where WC isn't practical or impossible -- case size restraints are one issue. Additionally, a lot of users aren't all that fond of the idea of WC, although this may be mitigated somewhat with sealed low maintenance kits.

I don't think size is the issue - there are plenty of air coolers that dwarf single rad sealed kits these days. The price point is the key, IMO. Arctic Cooling showed us how to produce a low cost, effective and universally endorsed HSF. Granted, with increased heat density, HSF have to improve to keep up - increasing r&d costs and eventually costing more on the shelf.

However, £12 for a freezer 7 pro then suddenly £50-£70 for a modern high end HSF is taking it a bit too far. I'm a WC fanboy so I'm biased but, at that price point, I'd take a sealed unit any day; as there are very very few high end HSFs that warrant their price tag.
Shirty 29th June 2012, 13:19 Quote
I picked up my Frio for just £40 delivered and it is without a doubt the very best HSF I have had the pleasure of owning. Fans always on low mean it's silent (to me) and my OC never breaches 55°C under load.
Technobod 29th June 2012, 14:14 Quote
I've got a H50 in a case under my desk on an i7 920@stock and it never touches 60oC. Wasn't hard to install at all either.
Paradigm Shifter 29th June 2012, 14:53 Quote
Got an H70, which is OK but is rather too loud for my liking if I turn fans up. It does a decent job of cooling an i7 920 @ 3.8GHz, though. Having said that, if I want ease, I'll go with air cooling... if I want quiet and cool I'll go custom water. You don't need to spend hundreds unless you want to cool everything with water.

The all-in-ones that are proliferating don't impress me... the only one that interested me a little was the H100 and I'm afraid that mud sticks - as soon as I found out CoolIT were the OEM for the H100, my interest went out the window. Bit-Tech did a review of a CoolIT all-in-one where barbs snapped off and in the forum thread the CoolIT rep took the Apple route of "you must have done it wrong"... even if they've improved, things like that make me wary.
[-Stash-] 29th June 2012, 15:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by flong
…No component in my computer gets above 35F except the sound card which runs at 59F. Everything is icy cool…

Icy? Defeinitely at 35°F – that's 1.7°C! Man, I want an air cooler like that :)

Air cooling is going to stick around at the low end for sure. Even at the mid-high end air cooling is just cheaper and generally more reliable (less complex, less to go wrong).
lilgoth89 29th June 2012, 15:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FaSMaN
The next generation of air cooling is coming out soon...


The Sandia Cooler: http://www.legitreviews.com/news/13508/

that motor REALLY hurts my ears... lets hope that is just an issuse with the prototype
phuzz 29th June 2012, 16:16 Quote
A custom w/c setup might cost a couple of hundred quid, but you can keep using the same setup through multiple upgrades.
Also, this is Bit-Tech, why you we stick with an off the shelf solution? If in doubt, mod it!
Somer_Himpson 29th June 2012, 16:40 Quote
I have a Dark Rock Advanced and it is dead quiet and provides excellent cooling....why piss about with water cooling? It cools my i2550k no problem at all down to about 32oc @ 4.5ghz and doesn't rise that much under load.
I bet more people still use air and not water cooling for new builds.
flame696 29th June 2012, 17:02 Quote
I have a Antec Khuler H2O 920 and its a great cooler, I have also had the H80 and H100 both have been very good up until the latest batch which has had some pump noise problems. The last Air cooler i bought was TT Frio and it will stay the last as im very impressed with the all in one water coolers and hopefully the next generation will be even better
TheDarkSide 29th June 2012, 18:01 Quote
i moved from an H50 to a Silver Arrow (which Bit never reviewed, boo!), and it's a nice decrease in noise and improvement in temps.
I have to agree though it is massive, and makes getting around your mobo tricky.
thehippoz 29th June 2012, 18:13 Quote
I like arctics line of heatsinks.. they were always cheap and did the job for the most part.. bought expensive sinks like thermalright- they worked well too.. but 3-4x the price they better
fodder 29th June 2012, 18:29 Quote
I recently read about a new design of air cooled heatsink the same size as a 'standard' intel but with about ten times the cooling capacity and near silent. Can't remember where though.

The fan itself was the heatsink, resulting in a very efficient heat transfer and minimal power usage.
Shayper09 29th June 2012, 18:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fodder
I recently read about a new design of air cooled heatsink the same size as a 'standard' intel but with about ten times the cooling capacity and near silent. Can't remember where though.

The fan itself was the heatsink, resulting in a very efficient heat transfer and minimal power usage.

Look above, the link is on the page ;)

As for the topic, I doubt I'll ever change from my whisper quiet custom water. Because a watercooled FT-03 will never look bad :D
Elton 29th June 2012, 22:06 Quote
I can't say they're done. I'd say midsizers are gaining though.
silky 29th June 2012, 23:14 Quote
Yeah I've heard watercooling at my friends house and it is so noisy. I think it could be quiet if it was done well though, like if you turned it to low speeds and then hid the radiator and fans behind a desk or something, it would be quiet and yet a bit cooler than an air cooler.

But on my last build I couldn't be bothered with the stress of it, so I just went with a "Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro" and it's great. Very quiet, good temps, easy to fit and no upkeep.

I'm assuming and hoping that by the time I next upgrade my CPU though, that there will be a really good water cooling kit which is better. Those Corsair H100 etc. are really good but still not quite worth it for me. But in a year or two I bet they will become the standard.
wafflesomd 29th June 2012, 23:44 Quote
Stock 775 intel cooler on a q6600, 35c idle, 43c load. Why would ever buy anything else?
smc8788 30th June 2012, 00:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
Stock 775 intel cooler on a q6600, 35c idle, 43c load. Why would ever buy anything else?

Ever get the feeling you might be on the wrong forum?
Elton 30th June 2012, 00:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
Stock 775 intel cooler on a q6600, 35c idle, 43c load. Why would ever buy anything else?

Do you happen to live in a very cold area?
Omnituens 30th June 2012, 00:16 Quote
I'm on a H50, 4GHz OC i7-920. Can't hear it, temps are all good, 100% stable. I won a Kuhler 920 at a LAN a few months ago, still havent got round to fitting it.
Speed 30th June 2012, 01:33 Quote
I don't think so, sure the Corsair Hydro units and their equivalents have made large strides but at the end of the day my high end heatsink won't ever leak and doesn't have a pump to make noise or to fail and provides better performance for the same/similar money.
Bbq.of.DooM 30th June 2012, 01:41 Quote
nope, all in one watercooling is still stupid.
more awkward to mount than air
doesn't cool your mosfets
doesn't cool the cpu as well
has a pump in it (more noise)
introduces water into your system (more things to go wrong)
is louder
more expensive

all in one watercooling has basically no advantages over a good heatsink.
1398342003 30th June 2012, 03:25 Quote
I've found that every form of cooling has a place, from cheap aircooled heatsinks to expensive WC setups, it's a matter of needs, desires, and ability. That said, all-in-one WC's place is a few years past.

Low level, low noise air cooling is great for aunt Sally who does video chat and emails. Like the rest of her machine it's cheap and reliable. The processor doesn't need all that much cooling, it's not very high power.

High cost air cooling is great for gamers who have a medium-high power CPU and a single GPU, but hate maintenance of any kind.

Custom WC setups are excellent for multi GPU computers, but they are overkill for any lower powered setup.

All-in-one WC isn't great for anything, because the CPU is no longer the primary heat generator, the GPUs are. AioWC can cool a CPU well, but all gamer cases have one or two fans dedicated to removing the CPU's heat. If the AioWC had some form of GPU block it would be a very real step up from high end air. It would be a good middle ground between air and custom water.
lizoron 30th June 2012, 05:57 Quote
water cooling, all day long
NethLyn 30th June 2012, 13:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ev1lm1nd666
I've been having this thought for a few months now as I've been planning my new build. I'm normally the (cheap) kind of guy who goes for the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2

The above quote is what I will do next build. I thought expensive air cooling had its day when £40 AMD heatsinks started winning prizes in the mag. That money kitted out the rest of two PC cases with fans last build, separate to the HSFs.

For watercooling, that's a much wider area so naturally there would be a larger spread of prices, so if you got the right mix, you wouldn't feel like it was a ripoff as £40 AMD air coolers do for me. Let's face it we're talking about a difference in clip assembly for AMD sockets, Artic Cooling don't charge a premium because they want everyone to be able to buy the same box.
Cthippo 30th June 2012, 14:14 Quote
Going off on a bit of a tangent here, but...

My computer (Dual Opteron 250 desktop) is a multi-purpose machine, and one if it's purposes is sometimes as a clothing rack. I've noticed that when it's covered with clothes it gets a LOT warmer, despite the fans not being blocked. Apparently, a fair bit of the cooling is through radiation from the case rather than just convection from the fans. I haven't seen any measurements as to how great of an effect this is, but it does make me wonder if designing a case to radiate heat more efficiently could reduce the amount of air required and hence fan noise.
rollo 30th June 2012, 14:50 Quote
h100 with different fans is near enough silent on sandybridge at resonable clocks ( What you would achieve with air coolers if they were rocking 1800 rpm fans )

as for advantages

wieght on board for one, most pcs never leave the house i get that but if your into lann gaming then your pc moves around a good deal more and chugging around a 1kg wieght on your board is not something id personally like to do.

Much easier install,

They are not cheaper but they are comparable

h60 is about £53

be quiet dark rock pro is £52

( prices taking from scan )

in ivy bridge testing ( which is the where things should be tested )

both are above 90c thermal cealing so niether can cut it at the overclocks that were tested

4.7ghz 1.3vcore temps ( review from www.kitguru.net)

h60 92c
dark rock pro 92c

all fans where set to max for the test

so your general person would be seeing over 100c
Speed 30th June 2012, 15:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
h100 with different fans is near enough silent on sandybridge at resonable clocks

Unless of course you get one of the examples with a dodgy pump. Yes I know Corsair have found the problem but even if you buy one today you have good odds on getting a loud one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
( What you would achieve with air coolers if they were rocking 1800 rpm fans )

Usually better on an high end aircooler, depends on the cooler in question I'll grant you. Something like a Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-A would beat a H100 without spending anymore money on fans.

Prices (From Scan):

Corsair H100 with two god awful loud fans: £82.92
Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E with two excellent fans: £69.60

You make a good point on weight, but then 99% of users don't move their systems around, those that do would be better with a hydro cooler yes. Or take proper precautions with foam spacers in place for transport.
Mak4ku 30th June 2012, 22:49 Quote
All I can say on the subject of all-in-one coolers is that they're fine when they work but can be catastrophic when they fail. I had a system with a cool-it Domino, all was well until it failed, exploding and covered the whole shebang with coolant. Wrecked everything except the case. £1000 down the pan and Cool-It offered nothing in response except a reference to the buyer agreement that stated the unit was to be used at the buyer's discretion. WILL NEVER USE WATER COOLING AGAIN!
silky 1st July 2012, 00:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mak4ku
All I can say on the subject of all-in-one coolers is that they're fine when they work but can be catastrophic when they fail. I had a system with a cool-it Domino, all was well until it failed, exploding and covered the whole shebang with coolant. Wrecked everything except the case. £1000 down the pan and Cool-It offered nothing in response except a reference to the buyer agreement that stated the unit was to be used at the buyer's discretion. WILL NEVER USE WATER COOLING AGAIN!

Omg
2bdetermine 1st July 2012, 01:59 Quote
"Sandia Cooler" anyone?
Horizon 1st July 2012, 04:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bdetermine
"Sandia Cooler" anyone?

If it was cheap/reliable enough to make at an acceptable cost it would have been brought to market already.
thehippoz 1st July 2012, 05:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bdetermine
"Sandia Cooler" anyone?

hmm is it just me or is that cooler milled/mounted off a bit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWQZNXEKkaU#t=5m57s
Cei 1st July 2012, 10:25 Quote
I swapped the fans on my Frio for Asaka Apaches, and it runs silently whilst sitting at around 37C idle, and never over 65C load. I tried a H80 and the pump was faulty - and sending it for RMA to Corsair cost me £25 due to their facility being in the Netherlands. Total waste of cash.
fodder 1st July 2012, 21:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayper09
Quote:
Originally Posted by fodder
I recently read about a new design of air cooled heatsink the same size as a 'standard' intel but with about ten times the cooling capacity and near silent. Can't remember where though.

The fan itself was the heatsink, resulting in a very efficient heat transfer and minimal power usage.

Look above, the link is on the page ;)

DOH!
CampGareth 2nd July 2012, 00:54 Quote
Got an akasa venom (iirc, it's big with dual green fans) which I won somewhere and it's replacing an intel stock cooler on an E5400, the stock cooler gave me temperatures of 70 degrees while at 3.7Ghz so 1Ghz above stock, the venom gave me an extra 150Mhz on top of that for not much of an improvement in temperatures (but I did need more voltage so that explains that). So, I don't much see the point in big coolers on small heat outputs.

I've been testing out peltiers on a PC I built for a friend, custom watercooling and a 200W peltier crowning the 3930K, that thing will drop well below 0 degrees when idling though I haven't got around to overclocking it so I can't say much for load temps. All this just makes me think that maybe we've missed a trick, CPUs are easier to cool so what's the point in a big heatsink? Peltiers! So you've got a 100W CPU and a cooler rated for 300W, slap a 200W peltier in the mix and a bit of waterproofing vaseline so you can really push that CPU!
thehippoz 2nd July 2012, 03:40 Quote
I've dealt with peltiers back in the day.. the problem is you still have to remove the heat from the hot side- why it doesn't really make sense.. a good heat pipe exchange will pretty much keep up with the what the sink and fan are able to move

you can have a huge peltier.. but you still have to remove the heat for it to work- it doesn't just go away like you'd think.. you'll see when you own one- it's not all that great
Paradigm Shifter 2nd July 2012, 13:35 Quote
I agree; Peltier coolers are great in theory but can prove to be quite a pain in practice. Used them in several non-PC applications - great for sub-ambient (with adequate insulation) but too much of a headache for me for anything more than intermittent use.
flong 3rd July 2012, 08:24 Quote
My mistake on my earlier post - my Noctua NH-D14 keeps everything in my case below 40C not 40F.

I am not sure why you would anyone would not want the best cooling available for their computer. The equation is simple, heat = component breakdown or shortened life. It really is that simple - this is why I do not understand people who won't spend $100 on a quality CPU cooler.

Computer companies create cold rooms for their computers for a reason. They know this extends reliability and longevity.

While I sort of understand the question, quality heat sinks are not going anywhere for quite a while. This is witnessed by the fact that Ivy Bridge, Intel's latest CPU runs HOTTER than Sandy Bridge by quite a lot.
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