Need to get up to speed on cooling, with new system

By macx
Oct 22, 2005
  1. Been trying to read up on cooling, hear lots of conflicting info.

    New system is 2.8 P4 Northridge(?) - supposed to not be
    the higher speed/later version "hot" one.
    The heatsink it came with is not curved but straight
    fins. Now I read that curved is better? Any recommendations?

    I've got an ASUS N6600GT (Geforce 6600 GT) graphics card. It has a good sized fan & heat sink on it - will that be OK or do I need something in addition to that?

    I was looking for Arctic Silver and I found an online vendor where I found all kinds of things I wasn't aware of, like hard drive coolers - undermount fans, drivebay fan assemblies, heat pipes - where to start!?

    I've got 3 drives - all 7200 rpm. One 250g SATA, one 120g SATA, one 120g IDE. I've separated them as best I could in the case, but 2 of them end up in adjacent bays
    (one above the other). Looking around, I find lots of
    statements that coolers are needed for these drives.
    Any recommendations?

    The 250g drive I'll only use to do video, so will be just
    occasional use. Any way to "switch" it off when not in
    use? Would be one less drive giving off heat.

    I've also got a DVD+RW drive and floppy in the case,
    so have 3 ribbon cables. Have read there might be
    alternative wire type cables to replace the ribbon cables?
    Any truth to that, and if so - lead me to them please?
    If nothing else, some SHORTER ribbon cables would help
    reduce the airflow-blocking clutter.

    I've got two 512 dual sided RAM. I saw little heat sinks
    that attach to each chip on RAM. Good idea, or overkill?

    Also now sounds like I need some more case fans - have
    one in the top to suck out, and only other one is in the
    side across from the center of the board (haven't fired them up yet, don't know if that's a blower or a sucker, would assume blower). There is a large grille in the back, but no other fans (other than in the power supply which is in the top rear of the case)

    I've got a 450W power supply, so should have at least
    adequate power available.

    I don't game, but intend to do video rendering onto DVDs.

    Really appreciate any recommendations.

    In summary:
    1) Existing oem fan/heat sink on ASUS Graphics card OK?

    2) Need heat sinks on the RAM?

    3) Need curved type heat sink & what's a good fan
    for the P4?

    4) What's best for the hard drives - under-mount fans,
    bay type fan systems, heat pipes? Some recommendations?

    5) How many more & where should I mount case fans?
    And recommendations?

    I've already spent too much on this system (what's new huh?) and am not looking to go overboard on this and keep cost reasonable.

    Thanks much!!!
  2. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    you must be referring to the second generation P4, the northwood, arguably the best in design. you shoudl be fine with everything on stock cooling. the real challenge is keeping your inside case temp down. wads of cables and/or few fans can and will reduce airflow, thus increasing your temps.

    leave at least 1 empty hdd bay between those drives, unless there is a hdd cage fan in action.

    you'd ebtter have a quality, name brand poswer supply. a cheap generic supply will haunt you.

    you don't need heat pipes. just use stock cooling and install all the case fans your case was designed to hold. and don't waste your time with fancy heatpipes or artic silver.

    case fans on the front panel should be blowing into the case, all others should be blowing air out.
  3. macx

    macx TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 710

    That's right - I knew it was something like that.
    One reason I picked that one was because of the
    considerably lower reported operating temps than
    the next one developed.

    tonight I found a website called 7volts that had a lot
    of good info - including how to shorten and "round"
    or "square" those ribbon cables - that should help
    a lot.

    I don't think the power supply is anything special -
    I'm going to try it and see how it does. If I need,
    I've got a recommend from someone on the board
    about a good name brand unit.

    It really seems like I'll need additional case fans -
    like I said, there's only the one in the top and
    one in the side about in the middle, aimed pretty
    much at the board.

    At least now I know what temps to shoot for.
    I've also seen some reviews on a bunch of diff
    fans so I can pick ones that are efficient and

    As I have a lot of built in things on the board,
    I won't be having much for PCI cards - just the
    graphics card which has it's own fan & heat sink,
    and a tv tuner card. That is in a dead air space
    at the bottom rear of the case, though, so might
    eventually install a small case fan aimed at that

    Probly the biggest problem area wil be the stack
    of hard drives - I won't be able to leave a blank
    bay between 2 of them but might just leave the
    lowest one unplugged normally as I will only be
    using it occasionally for video. I'll have at least
    one empty bay between the other hdd's, and
    between them and the floppy and also each
    side of the DVD. That and squaring and shortening
    the ribbon cables should help a lot.

    I might get an inexpensive under-drive cooler fan
    set for the 2 drives I'll be using regularly.

    If I can, I'll try to figure a way to install a fan
    blowing into the lower front of the case, at
    the lower end of the drive stack, and another
    one sucking out above that stack and at the
    upper back of the case just above the graphics

    Seems I never find things to learn about!

  4. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

  5. pkroks

    pkroks TS Rookie Posts: 259

    what about watercooling?
  6. macx

    macx TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 710

    Watercooling looks like a highly effective way from what I've read -
    I'm pretty much at the bottom rung of the learning curve here -
    but it may be a bit over the top for my needs -
    I don't game, not a real "hard" user.

    I think those Coolmax units look good -
    and they're inexpensive.
    3 of them ought to set me right up
    without prying out very many of those
    long green rectangles.

  7. pkroks

    pkroks TS Rookie Posts: 259

    you can check out ProCooling if you want some more info..
  8. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    yeah, watercooling is effective. but it is costly, difficult to set up, and only nessesary in extreme situations. stick to air cooling.
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